Sheamus and Power Ranking the Top 5 European Wrestlers on the Main Roster
The WWE kicked off their annual WrestleMania revenge tour of Europe this week, and a host of WWE's eclectic, European workers are set to make special homecomings to an always-impassioned fanbase.
A homecoming is always made sweeter when the superstar in question is a conquering hero in some regard, and suffice to say it has not been as promising a year for WWE's young crop of European talent as, say, 2009.
But entering a week that should be filled with emotion and pride, who has the edge when it comes to stars from overseas who will be returning home?
5. Mason Ryan
It has been a while since we've seen or heard from the Welsh physical specimen that is Mason Ryan.
Once upon a time, Vince McMahon and the WWE found it effortless to trot out a 300-pound musclebound killer and bully fans into connecting with him, then the Internet happened, causing many fans became jaded beyond propaganda.
Nonetheless, Ryan remains the personification of the WWE's age-old concept that big bodies draw money, and boy, is it a juggernaut of an ideas when it works.
For Ryan to truly reach the heights of a Dave Batista, who he is often compared to strictly based on looks, he'll need to add another dimension to his overpowering, clumsy in-ring style, get better on the mic, and/or get a really charismatic manager (Abraham Washington, anyone?)
4. William Regal
William Regal would be much higher on this list if he were still active, but now basically in semi-retirement, Regal remains a very productive contributor to WWE through his color commentary and role as a backstage producer.
Regal is without question one of the finest European talents in pro wrestling history, and while many of his fellow countrymen are criticized for their wooden delivery and unmoving microphone work, Regal has always been just as good on the mic as he is in the ring.
It's more than safe to say that Regal has at least one more match left in him, and when that day comes, rest assured it will be a special one to bring a brilliant career full circle.
3. Drew McIntyre
Look up no man's land in a WWE dictionary and you'll find a picture of Drew McIntyre, a once highly touted prospect who still finds himself treading the proverbial waters.
McIntyre earned a nice WrestleMania paycheck through his last-minute involvement in the Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy match, and while his workload on WWE TV has increased to some degree this year, there has been very little positive in terms of booking.
I have long since been of the opinion that McIntyre's booking woes are all part of a bigger story that will lead to his resurgence, but that revival needs to come sooner than later for fans to take him seriously again.
Hopefully, in the heel John Laurinaitis era on SmackDown, McIntyre will have an opening.
2. Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett has been out of action since suffering an ill-timed injury at the start of the WrestleMania buildup period.
Had that injury not occurred, Barrett could have probably been carrying around a Money in the Bank briefcase, as he has been internally hand-picked as one of the rare young talents that the WWE has been serious about elevating.
With the Money in the Bank pay-per-view now moved to later on this summer, Barrett will have time to get healthy and hopefully capitalize on a significant push.
There's very little debate that Sheamus is the top European superstar in the WWE right now. After a controversial win over Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania, Sheamus has now won both the WWE Championship and the world heavyweight championship in three years in the WWE.
Sheamus made an emotional return to Ireland Friday night, once again defeating Daniel Bryan. If Sheamus continues to carry the championship while being afforded meaningful wins, he could finally be elevated into the rarefied air of a top star for years to come.